The leukocyte-restricted beta 2 (CD18) integrins mediate cell adhesion in a variety of events essential for normal immune function. Despite extensive research in this field, only three members of this integrin subfamily have been described: CD11a/CD18 (LFA-1), CD11b/CD18 (Mac-1), and CD11c/CD18 (p150,95). We have identified a cDNA encoding a fourth alpha chain, alpha d, that associates with CD18. The alpha d subunit is more closely related to CD11b and CD11c than to CD11a. This integrin is expressed at moderate levels on myelomonocytic cell lines and subsets of peripheral blood leukocytes, and more strongly on tissue-compartmentalized cells such as foam cells, specialized macrophages found in aortic fatty streaks that may develop into atherosclerotic lesions. The alpha d/CD18 molecule exhibits preferential recognition of ICAM-3 over ICAM-1.
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